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Is Coach Getting More Chic?

While comfort and amenities on economy seating are at an all time low, some airlines are making attempts to provide small comforts to their coach passengers. Largely offered to travelers on international flights, amenity kits and individual television screens are being implemented in some airlines to offer their economy passengers some comfort in what can oftentimes be grueling 16-hour flights with little legroom.

Airlines such as Delta, Emirates, and Etihad are now beginning to offer sleep kits, better food options, and even bedtime hot chocolate to their international and overnight coach customers. While these offerings are certainly enjoyable pleasantries, they do little to handle the very real discomforts of flying coach. Business and first class tickets still offer roomy and luxurious experiences to their patrons for only fractionally higher airfare.

The story in economy class is decidedly different. Etihad and Emirates may be offering their coach customers a few amenities on the longer flights, but they are nevertheless making economy a less comfortable experience, by adding an extra seat to every row on their Boeing 777s – cutting an inch off of each passenger’s already very limited seating space. American Airlines is doing the same, renovating their planes to seat 10 passengers in each row rather than 9. Small amenities, while increasing customer satisfaction in the short-term, do little to address the growing discomforts for those who choose to fly coach.

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